*Originally written May 8th, 2016*
"I think we're alone now"
Despite the disappointment of missing this at the cinema, this was so worth the wait. I already knew this was a relation to Cloverfield in name only, and in all honesty, is much better for it. It still takes place in the same universe as the first film (I assume), but this tells a completely different story in a different location with a new threat and new characters.
After a girl is wiped of the road, she wakes up in a bunker being held captive by a crazed fanatic played by John Goodman claiming the world has ended after a chemical attack and that his shelter is the only safe place left.
It's taut and effective. Smaller and tense than its predecessor. First time director Dan Trachtenberg keeps an unsettling and tense atmosphere surrounded by mystery throughout. It was interesting to see these characters slowly become more and more concerned about their situation as John Goodman's character becomes more unstable.
Speaking of John Goodman, the man is a terrifying monster here. He's both sympathetic, yet imposing and scary when he needs to be. He arguably starts off as a man seemingly trying to do the right thing, but slowly becomes more unhinged as it goes on and you learn more about him.
The two other leads were great too. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is an actress I've always liked, but has never really been given the chance to shine and has been put in minor supporting roles in two terrible Die Hard films, so it was great to see her as smart and likeable lead you root for. Then John Gallagher Jr. was fine in his role, he was serviceable, but easily the least interesting of the leads.
The whole thing builds to an insane, genre-busting final act that gets a little too silly for my liking, but doesn't take away from the incredibly tense and entertaining 80 minutes that came before it. I will admit I did have the ending spoiled for me before seeing it, so I knew what was going to happen, but it still didn't work for me. I kind of wish it just stuck to the one location setting and we didn't know what was happening outside the bunker.
I do like what they're doing with the Cloverfield franchise though. This was a risky move that payed off and is a far more involving and interesting film than the original. I cannot wait to see what they do next with this anthology series and see how it all ties together (which is the plan)
10 Cloverfield Lane is a pleasant surprise. A tense, claustrophobic thriller with a powerhouse performance from Goodman, a likeable lead and shrouded in mystery. It's just a shame it goes a bit off the rails with the ending.
10 Cloverfield Lane is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:
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